# Bingo Game Rules

By Charlie Jay

Bingo is a popular game around the world. There are many variations, but the most popular way to play is with a card that contains 24 numbers and one free space. Bingo is not a difficult game, but a thorough understanding of the rules and procedures involved will help you get started more easily.

### Card Layout

A bingo card is a five-by-five table of squares with a number in each square except for the one in the center. That center square is called the “free space” and can automatically be marked by all players as completed.

### Columns

Each column has a letter at the top, which together spell out B-I-N-G-O. The spaces in the B column are marked with numbers between 1 and 15, I numbers are between 16 and 30, N numbers are between 31 and 45, G numbers are between 46 and 60 and O numbers are between 61 and 75. Since there are only five spaces in each column (or four in the middle), there are thousands of unique number combinations for bingo cards.

### Calling

A caller is the master of ceremonies for a bingo game and randomly draws and calls out letter columns and numbers. For example, he might call “G54.” Players then look at their cards, specifically the G rows, to see if they contain the number 54. If they mark the spot as completed.

### Object

The object of a bingo game is to fill up your card according to house rules. This usually means marking all the numbers in a column, row or diagonal, or by filling an entire card.

### Prizes

When someone's card is filled accordingly, he must yell out "Bingo" in order to claim a prize. If two or more people call out at the same time and more than one has in fact filled her card, they each win a prize. In the case of cash prizes, the money is split among the winners.

Prizes typically range from small trinkets to large cash payouts--as high as \$10,000 in some bingo games in Las Vegas.